I walked up Sydney’s Oxford St recently. It was quiet. Too quiet. Off to Oxford Art Factory, wonderful venue, one of the few still open in this once famous entertainment precinct. The meeting was terrific, Sydney live music professionals coming together as an industry group at the time of their biggest ever challenge. They need to.

How can it have come to this? In two great cities excessive behaviour by a few threatens to curtail enjoyment for so many, and bring dynamic night time economies to their knees. Let’s hope wise heads prevail. In the meantime, read our roundup on the Lockout Laws here, and show your support at the Sydney rally on Sunday.

As always, share your news, and follow us on Facebook and Twitter so we can give you the latest music news from out there.
Chris Bowen
Music Australia





New York to build affordable housing for artists and musicians

New York Mayor’s announcement of 1,500 affordable units provides important recognition of the value and contribution artists and musicians provide to a successful city, if not driven out by rising prices. Full story



Battle over the classical airwaves in the UK

The UK’s two main classical radio stations, BBC Radio 3 and Classic FM, have both been accused of dumbing down their audiences. Following numerous listener complaints, Radio 3 has backed away from its commercial rival’s chattier format. Full story





Under the radar: Australia’s house concert scene

The phenomenon of house concerts is surprisingly large and growing. The online network House Concerts Australia has 294 musicians on its books, and 145 individuals who have put their names down to host concerts in their own homes. Full story



Katie Noonan to direct the next Queensland Music Festival

Singer-songwriter Katie Noonan has been appointed as the Queensland Music Festival’s next artistic director. Her eclectic career in opera, jazz, pop, rock and dance promises to inject yet newer flavours to the biennial event. Full story



Lockout laws and the live music scene

Musicians and music industry figures are rallying to repeal – or at least amend – the lockout laws, with concern at the devastating effect on the city’s night-time economy, amid an increasingly polarised public debate. Full story


Contemporary Music Roundup

A selection of stories that crossed our news desk this week:

  • Goulburn’s Blues Festival delivers undeniable charm: Goulburn is embracing its Australian Blues Music Festival
  • South Australian Live Music Venues gain Best Practice Guide: Valuable live music guide released in SA
  • Music created purely from brainwaves: Four musicians, unable to talk or move, create music
  • Peter Gabriel – music is an emotional toolbox: Great musicians are “therapists of our souls”
  • BandPage sold to YouTube – worrying for artists: Artist distribution site sold off cheaply and worryingly
  • Women in the Jazz scene - a personal reflection: musician Shannon Barnett’s frank thoughts on equity
  • Pirate Bay is back and bigger than ever: Just when we thought they were locked up…

Read the full stories here




Composer Michael Sollis heads up Musica Viva’s education program

Musica Viva’s new position of Artistic Director of Education has gone to Canberra composer Michael Sollis. Previously he was the organisation’s ACT Manager, and he has a background in teaching from early childhood to tertiary level. Full story


High school music teaching lacks diversity

US academic Jacqueline Kelly-McHale believes that high school music teaching lacks diversity and asks why a Eurocentric approach to music teaching tends to still hold sway. She sets a challenge for Australian schools to rethink the way they teach music. Full story


Get ‘Animated’! MCUI Has a Video to Share!

There’s a simple, new way to tell people about Music: Count Us In! It’s the program’s 10 anniversary and we’re celebrating with a specially commissioned animation to help spread the word.  Full story


Off to a Great Start with Yamaha’s Music Education Clips

Yamaha Music Australia has recently launched their Off to a Great Start campaign, to encourage student involvement with school music by learning an instrument.  Full story




Federation Bells Ring Out in New Improvisation Experiment

Two Victorian musicians are taking community jam sessions to a new level – on the banks of the Yarra River -  helped along by the Federation Bells. Full story



Preserving the Don Banks Collection

Help preserve and share the work of internationally acclaimed composer Don Banks (1923–1980) The Collection contains 700 hours of performance recordings on 550 reel-to-reel tapes and cassettes, plus recordings of talks, interviews, seminar papers, radio programs and film scores, and letter cassettes. Donate to the National Library of Australia to help preserve and share the work of this eminent Australian composer. Full story




Competitions & Awards


International Cochran Piano e-Competition 2016

Registrations have been extended to 29 February. The prizes include mentorship and opportunities for pianists worldwide to advance their artistic career on the international stage.

Unsigned Only Competition

Unsigned Only is open to solo artists, bands, and singers not signed to a major label record company. The Grand Prize Winner will be awarded $20,000. Registrations close 16 March.

I LOVE LIVE MUSIC 60 second film competition

The Australian Music Industry Network (AMIN) has joined the Live Music Office and the St Kilda Film Festival to present a national awareness campaign about the importance of contemporary live music to the lives of everyday Australians.  Applications close 1 April.


BluesFest Busking Competition

The Competition is about giving an opportunity to artists to deliver their music to an otherwise unattainable audience from an international Bluesfest following. Applications close 29 February.

Airlie Beach Music Festival – International Songwriting Competition

Songwriters are invited to write a love song about the Whitsundays. The competition will run from now until 7 May 2016 to find the best song and we are offering $5000 prize money to the winning song-writer!

Fanfare Competition – Call for submissions

8 young artists + 8 compositions = Sydney Opera House 
Open to young people aged 12-21 years to write a short 30 second composition to assist calling people to their seats at the Sydney Opera House. Registrations close 23 May 2016.

Matt Withers Australian Music Composition Competition 2016

The second Matt Withers Australian Music Composition Competition with the support of a leading Australian Composer as well as over $1500 worth of cash and prizes on offer. Entries close 30 June 2016.

Forte 2016 - International Inter-School Music Competition

A unique international music school competition bringing together students 12yrs & above across the world. Fabulous prizes to winning performances.

London International A Cappella Choral Competition

25 Jun - 1 Jul 2017
The third London International A Cappella Choral Competition, in association with Peter Phillips and The Tallis Scholars is now welcoming applications.

Basel Composition Competition(BCC)

16-19 Feb 2017
The BCC is open to composers of all ages and nationalities and welcomes new, non-premiered orchestral works. Ten of which shall be shortlisted by jury. Applications close 31 March 2016. 


Joseph Haydn Chamber Music Competition

The International Competition see young string quartets and piano trios from all over the world converge on Vienna from 20 February – 2 March 2017 to compete artistically for the seventh time. Registrations close 1 September.


Melbourne Prize for Music 2016 & Awards - Registrations of interest now open

With over $120,000 in prizes and awards available, all music genres will be eligible.  An exciting new category will be added for 2016. Open to Victorian residents only, further information will be available early in the New Year.  

2016 Art Music Awards – Nominations Now Open

The yearly Art Music Awards are presented by APRA AMCOS and the Australian Music Centre to recognise achievement in the composition, performance, education and presentation of Australian music


Programs, Workshops & Masterclasses


Australian National Choral Association – Richard Gill Workshops for Teachers

14 Feb-8 May
Professional Development Opportunities for Teachers

Women In Music Industry Development Panel, Queensland

9 Mar
This panel will explore the important contributions women make within the music industry, and how by supporting and energizing our community to create and work innovatively with each other we can ensure the industry continues to develop and evolve.

2016 Sydney Eisteddfod - Call for entries

Entries close 14 Mar
Performance opportunities and scholarships for aspiring and emerging performing artists in the categories of Classical Singing, Contemporary Singing, Choirs, Piano, Instrumental Solos, Instrumental Groups, Speech & Drama and Dance.

Jazz by Jazz Musicians Workshop

19 Mar
This workshop will demonstrate how high school music teachers can use the eBook to develop improvisation skills in the classroom, and will help teachers to develop lesson plans and engaging activities for jazz ensemble work. Accredited by BOSTES.

Australian Copyright Council Seminar Program

9 May – 6 Sep
Australian Copyright Council seminars are presented by experts in the field of copyright law who are up-to-date with the latest policies, laws and applications of copyright.

Music Together - International Early Childhood Music Program

8-10 Apr
Music Together, the award-winning, international early childhood music and movement program developed in Princeton, New Jersey, is offering an exciting three-day Teacher Training Workshop in Sydney

Arthur Hull Drum Circle Facilitation

8-17 Jul
This three-day event will empower you to build a rhythm community while exploring the foundational elements of drum circle facilitation


Folk Music

A terrific resource for folk enthusiasts 

Music Focused Podcast

A collection of podcasts on Australian contemporary artist and music industry issues 


Conferences, Events, Seminars


A2IM Indie Week – New York, Expressions of Interest due 22 February

PPCA (Phonographic Performance Company of Australia), AIR (Australian Independent Record Labels Association) and Sounds Australia 10 invitations for Australian independent record labels to attend the A2IM (American Association of Independent Music) Indie Week 2016, in New York on June 13 – 16.


Australian Performing Arts Market 2016

22-26 Feb
APAM is the leading biennial industry event for contemporary performing arts from Australia and New Zealand.

Music SA Forum – Get Your Kit Together

23 Feb
Music SA and APRA AMCOS present “Get Your Kit Together” which is part of a series of professional development forums aimed at tooling up South Australian musicians and industry practitioners

The Next Generation: Youth Engagement in the Arts, Sydney

29 Feb
As the Arts sector re-imagines its future, pathways for young people to engage with the Arts are critical. The first SAMAG seminar of 2016 brings together some of the key proponents of youth engagement to explore current challenges and opportunities for the sector.

#JustsayhiSydney - Call out for Community Choirs

1 Mar
City West Housing’s project; #justsayhisydney in partnership with City of Sydney and the Living in Harmony Festival seeks community choirs to participate in the #justsayhisydney flash mob/movement choir.  The project is about social connection and bringing people together to celebrate humanity.

SXSW Music 2016 

SXSW, the world’s biggest music market and conference, can - if right for you - be the place to reach the next rung of the ladder. 2,000 acts from numerous countries, and a plethora of genres perform each year. 


International Live Music Conference (ILMC)– London

3-6 Mar
ILMC is the leading annual gathering of professionals involved in the global touring, festival and live entertainment industries.

Emergence Creative Festival and Conference, Perth

16-19 Mar
Emergence brings together  professionals from music, film, advertising, digital and the visual art to share recent developments in their disciplines as well as emerging trends in a series of workshops and talks.

St Kilda Summer Jazz Festival

3-6 Mar
A weekend of hot jazz by the sea. SKSJ’s aim is to program and present accessible jazz events connecting a diversity of jazz musicians with a wide range of audiences in the Port Phillip community and beyond.

Culture Business: The Art of Fundraising Conference Sydney

22-23 Mar
Culture Business conference, held in Australia for the first time. Organised by Paris based arts agency Agenda Communication.

Four Winds Festival

22-27 Mar
Four Winds 2016 Easter Festival, Bermagui
With 80 artists, 21 events and 33 performances the Four Winds 2016 Easter Festival will bring six days of exquisite music to this beautiful part of the world.

Brighton Music Conference

14-15 Apr
The UK's leading electronic dance music conference, for the industry by the industry. Tickets on sale now for Brighton Music Conference 2016.


Music Cities Convention - Brighton, UK

May 18
The Music Cities Convention is the world's most extensive conference series exploring new ideas and strategies between music and music industry development and issues surrounding city planning, diversity, employment, education, transportation, regulation and urban quality of life.

Classical: Next – Rotterdam, Netherlands

25 – 28 May
The Global meeting of art music innovators. Australian stand and presence with Sounds Australia, and special discounts for Australian delegates. Contact us at Music Australia for more information

Third Nordoff Robbins Plus Research Conference, London

17 May
The Nordoff Robbins Plus series brings together presentations from related disciplines, together with posters and group discussions. Poster submissions about projects that explore music in its many settings are currently open.

Midem 2016- Cannes, France

3-6 Jun
Midem enables key players within the international music ecosystem to successfully forge business connections, promote music at an international level, sign deals, and discover upcoming trends, talent and services to shape the future of music.

Melbourne International Singers Festival 2016

Jun 9-13
Email us now to register your interest to workshop with Kirby Shaw, sing in any of our fabulous Festival events or feature your choir at Melbourne International Singers Festival 2016!


Australian Songwriters conference

10-13 Jun
The ASC focuses on the craft and business of songwriting and attracts writers from across Australia and internationally. Registrations are now open

32nd ISME World Conference – Glasgow

An array of concerts featuring some of the world’s most exciting music from across the globe. Keynote speakers, researchers and practitioners will stimulate ways of thinking that are sure to impact your own practice and research. 

ISME  - Pre Conference: "IMAGINE THE FUTURE: Everyone Plays Music"

23-23 Jul
Commission on Special Music Education and Music Therapy 

ISME – Community Music Activity (CMA) International Seminar

Theme: Innovation and Change in Community Music. The seminar will bring together community music practitioners and scholars to celebrate and explore the music-making practices, pedagogies, and cultural politics that are currently shaping community music throughout the world.


ITAC3 Conference – Call for Proposals due 22 February

3-5 Aug
ITAC3 Conference brings together artists, organisations, funders and researchers from all over the world to explore key issues relating to participatory arts practice through an inspiring mix of curated conversations, practical workshops, keynote speeches, seminars and round-table discussions. More information on submitting a proposal here.

7th World Summit on Arts and Culture - Malta

18-21 Oct
Summit will bring together government and cultural leaders from over 80 countries to explore Cultural Leadership in the 21st Century.




Copyright Agency's - Cultural Fund

Applications close 26 Feb
Creative organisations and individuals are invited to apply for grants from the Copyright Agency's Cultural Fund. Organisations with major cultural projects that encourage innovation and/or develop local and foreign markets for Australians.

The Murray Darling Basin Regional Economic Diversification Program

Applications close 1 Mar
The Murray Darling Basin Regional Economic Diversification Program is a $32.5 million allocation of funding from the Australian Government to assist economic development projects that support the economic base of New South Wales regional communities that are most likely to be affected by the implementation of the Murray Darling Basin Plan.

Carriageworks – Accommodation Expressions of Interest

Submissions close 7 Mar
Carriageworks is seeking Expressions of Interest from NSW arts companies and organisations to become a Resident Arts Company. As a resident company you will be provided with subsidised office accommodation and the opportunity to partner with Carriageworks in the development and presentation of new Australian work at Carriageworks.

CSU Rural and Regional Arts and Culture Program

Applications close 31 Mar
Charles Sturt University(CSU) offers a small grants program (generally $500 - $1,000) to support regional arts and culture programs including artists in residence, art shows, musical education, talks and lectures that encourage engagement by younger people in artistic endeavours.

Foundation for Rural and Regional Renewal (FRRR)

Applications close 24 Mar
FRRR - REAPing Rewards funding is designed to help fund educational programs that benefit kids up to 18 years of age and Small Grants for Rural Communities, available for any remote/regional areas.

Sidney Myer Fund and the Myer Foundation

Applications open 7 Mar & close 10 Apr
This program seeks to strengthen and grow the independent arts and cultural sector in Australia by granting money to ensembles/collectives/groups and organisations that are highly connected within their sector, and producing excellent work.

Women & Leadership Australia – Grants for Women in Sports & Recreation – EOI Now Open

In 2016 Women & Leadership Australia is administering a national initiative to support the development of female leaders across the sport and recreation sectors.

  1. Senior Management and Executive level Women Leaders can apply for $12,000 Individual Grants to undertake the Advanced Leadership Program.
  2. Women Managers can apply for $5,000 Individual Grants to undertake the Accelerated Leadership Performance Program.

Art & About – City of Sydney

EOIs close 3 Mar
The City of Sydney seeks Expressions of Interest for the Art & About Sydney 2016/17 program. Ideas and proposals are welcome from all art disciplines.

Performers' Trust Foundation

The PPCA Performers' Trust Foundation provides grants to promote and encourage music and the performing arts. The grants provided are non-recurring and can be used to cover tuition fees, travel costs, accommodation and venue hire/ PA hire. 

James Morrison Jazz Scholarship

Applications close 4 Mar
The “James Morrison Jazz Scholarship” is open to solo instrumentalists to further the jazz career of the successful entrant. The winner will receive $10,000 to assist in the development of their career. Applicants must be not older than 19 years as at 1st January 2016.

Josh Pyke Partnership

Applications close 31 Mar
APRA AMCOS, in conjunction with Josh Pyke, is bringing back the Josh Pyke Partnership for 2016, awarding a lucky Australian musician with a $7500 grant to kick-start their music career!

Grants Funding Workshop for Community Organisations

24 Feb

The Clovelly branch of Bendigo bank gives 80% of its profits back to the community through grants and sponsorships. Workshop will be held at The Vonnie Young Auditorium, Level 1, Bowen Library, Anzac Parade, Maroubra Junction.  RSVP by Friday 12th February




Darwin Festival - Head of Programming

Applications close 28 Feb
Darwin Festival is seeking a dynamic and passionate arts professional for the role of Head of Programming.

Sydney Opera House - Communications Manager, Performing Arts

Applications close 24th Feb
The Communications Manager, Performing Arts leads, develops and executes creative, cross-platform media and public relations strategies for key Opera House-produced shows.

Sydney Dance Company - CRM Manager

Applications close 18 Feb
Sydney Dance Company (SDC) is seeking to appoint a CRM Manager.

Sydney Conservatorium of Music - Opera Coordinator

Applications close 19 Feb
The Sydney Conservatorium of Music (SCM) is seeking to appoint an Opera Coordinator to manage the organisation of the SCM’s opera program.

Moreton Bay College - Director of Instrumental Music

Applications close 22 Feb
Are seeking an experienced and passionate Director of Instrumental Music to lead a dynamic team of tenured and sessional music staff.

Head of Corporate Relations - Sydney Symphony Orchestra

Applications close 23 February
Sydney Symphony Orchestra is seeking to appoint a Head of Corporate Relations to join the team.

CGGS – Dean of Music

Applications close 29 Feb
Applications are sought for this new senior position at Canberra Girls Grammar School (CGGS). This is a five year contract position with the possibility of an extension. 

Philharmonia Choirs – Development Manager

We are seeking an experienced part-time Development Manager to create and drive a successful development strategy to include fundraising, philanthropy, building corporate relationships and relationships with trusts, foundations and government bodies.

Pinchgut Opera - Marketing and Administration Coordinator

Applications close 2 Mar
Pinchgut Opera is seeking a Marketing and Administration Coordinator to join the team.

University of Queensland - Lecturer in Music Psychology

The University of Queensland is seeking to appoint a Lecturer in Music Psychology to join the The School of Music.




Transitions Film Festival - HIP HOP-ERATION, Cinema Nova, Carlton, VIC

20 Feb
The film, Hip Hop-eration follows a troupe of courageous, yet cheeky, senior citizens on an extraordinary quest to perform at the World Hip Hop Championships in Las Vegas.

Keep Sydney Open Rally – Belmore Park, Sydney, NSW

21 Feb
In response to the growing discontent with the State Government's lockout laws and the negative affect they are having on Sydney, Keep Sydney Open are holding a rally.

FENNESZ Carriageworks, Redfern, NSW

26 Feb
First time in Australia in over a decade, Fennesz with special guest, visualist Lillevan. Also American electronic artist Keith Fullerton Whitman. Curated by Lawrence English/Room40.

Wynton Marsalis’s Swing Symphony, Sydney Opera House, NSW

25-27 Feb
Two 'big bands' come together in the one concert hall when the SSO meets Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis!

Nannup Music Festival, WA

4-7 Mar
The Nannup Music Festival is a live performance music festival showcasing primarily folk music.

Singout! Sista – Women of the World Concert – QLD Multicultural Centre, QLD

11 Mar
A collaboration with some of Queensland’s finest female artists from a myriad of backgrounds from across the world.

Songhoy Blues – City Recital Hall Sydney

22 March
Songhoy Blues is a desert punk / blues music group from Timbuktu, Mali.


Key Supporters 

  • Australia Council for the Arts
  • The Australian Government through the Dept of Education & Training
  • City of Sydney
  • Clipper Property Group
  • Thomson Geer Lawyers
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